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South Yuba River Citizens League offers raft tours to view wild chinook salmon

Submitted to The Union
Salmon rafting tours will be offered by SYRCL.
Chris Friedel |


What: SYRCL Salmon Tours

When: Oct. 31 and Nov. 7

Where: Lower Yuba River below Hwy. 20 Bridge

Who: South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL)

Cost: Rafting Tours are $75 for the general public, $65 for SYRCL members

Details: http://yubariver.org/salmon-tours/

Right now, Chinook salmon are swimming from the Pacific Ocean under the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Delta and back to the rivers of their birth to spawn the next salmon generation.

The South Yuba River Citizens League and H20 Adventures are teaming up to offer public raft tours in October and November.

Participants enjoy a guided trip to view salmon spawning activity in the Lower Yuba River below Englebright Dam.

“Registration is now open for 2015 Salmon Tours! This is an unforgettable opportunity for you and your family to explore the Lower Yuba River and to witness spawning salmon,” says SYRCL’s River Education Coordinator, Heather Kallevig. “Get outdoors, enjoy the rafts and the river while learning about the salmon life cycle and the impact humans have on these incredibly resilient fish.”

SYRCL River Science staff, trained local naturalists and river guides from H20 Adventures will lead the trips.

Participants can learn about the Yuba River ecosystem, how mining has impacted the river, and SYRCL’s work to protect salmon — including a visit to SYRCL’s habitat restoration project at Hammon Bar.

Attendees might get the opportunity to witness exuberant salmon jumping 2 feet out of the water, showing off their beautiful silvery coloration while many more dart around the rafts.

Amazement is often the reaction to the spectacular journey of wild Chinook salmon that have traveled over 150 miles from the Pacific to their spawning grounds in the Yuba River.

“I have been rafting the rivers of the Sierra Nevada for 30 years, and have seen their degradation first-hand,” said Cindy Richards a volunteer Salmon Tour Naturalist. “It is so important for us to share with today’s youth the interconnections of life in our rivers. Only a fraction of the historic salmon population is left in the Yuba, and we need to do something to help them thrive now. It is so important to go and see the beauty and feel the excitement of the salmon spawn. The experience will bring your understanding of the connections of life in the river full circle.”

Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, historically came up the Yuba and many other rivers in California by the hundreds of thousands.

Today, wild Fall-Run Chinook salmon return to the Lower Yuba in the thousands, while the much rarer Spring-Run Chinook salmon are federally listed as a species threatened with extinction. Chinook salmon in the Yuba can measure more than 2 feet in length and often weigh 30 to 40 pounds.

Guides and naturalists will answer participants’ questions while sharing knowledge about the fish’s life cycle and their history in the Yuba River.

Register today to secure a spot on a raft tour, a press release states.

Salmon Raft Tours (ages 8 and up) are a full day of rafting down the Lower Yuba River.

Tour dates are Oct. 31 and Nov. 7.

The cost of a raft trip is $75 for the general public, $65 for SYRCL members.

Trip fees helps fund school tours, bringing students throughout the watershed to experience the Yuba and learn about salmon.

The Salmon Raft Tours will take place on the main stem of the Yuba River from Parks Bar, just below the Highway 20 Bridge, to Sycamore Ranch Park.

This run is about 5 miles long and the tour takes approximately six hours.

Individuals should bring a lunch, water, sunscreen, polarized sunglasses and appropriate clothes for a brisk day on the river with a brief hike, a press release states.

Do not wear flip-flops; sandals that attach to the ankle are fine.

To sign up for a tour, please register online at http://yubariver.org/salmon-tours/ or contact Heather Kallevig, River Education Coordinator, at (530) 265-5961, ext. 218; heather@syrcl.org to learn more.

SYRCL would like to thank the Teichert Foundation for supporting the 2015 Salmon Tours season.

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